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[183] finally “became very impatient at this delay and determined to take the responsibility of hurrying the troops forward,” which he did by what he seems to regard an ingenious flanking of General Lee's orders, viz., marching Hood, who was in McLaws' rear and not governed by General Lee's dilatory orders, “by the most direct route” to the position assigned him. If the military principle here established by General Longstreet is correct, why would not it have been that much better to have simply left a platoon at the head of his command to go through the form of following General Lee's engineer, and hasten on with the remainder of his command?

But in his official report (which he should have consulted) Longstreet says: “Engineers sent out by the CommandingGeneral and myself guided us by a road which would have completely disclosed the move — some delay ensued in seeking a more convenient route” (italics mine). It contains no hint that he lost “several hours by the blundering” of General Lee's engineer, Colonel S. P. Johnston, the gallant engineer officer mentioned by General Longstreet, tells me that he read the paper in the Times “with some surprise, particularly that portion where reference is made to the part I took in the operations of the 2d July,” and says that he “had no idea that I (he) had the confidence of the great Lee to such an extent that he would entrust me with the conduct of an army corps moving within two miles of the enemy's line, while the lieutenant-general was riding at the rear of the column.” Colonel Johnston, and I state it on his authority, was ordered by General Lee to make a reconnoisance on the enemy's left early on the morning of the 2d. On that errand he left army headquarters about 4 A. M. Upon returning he was required to sketch upon a map General Lee was holding the route he had taken, and was soon ordered to ride with General Longstreet. No other orders he received. In obedience to such instructions he joined the head of Longstreet's corps about 9 A. M., and it was then about three miles from Round Top, by the route selected for its march. “After no little delay [I quote Colonel Johnston's words] the column got in motion and marched under cover of the ridge and woods until the head of the column got to about one and a half miles of the position finally taken by General Hood's division. Here the road turned to the right and led over a high hill to where ”

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